In my mathematics and physics classes, half the students are seeing, or have seen, psychologists because of depression. Based on my experience, I feel that there is a huge correlation between logical people doing mathematics, physics, informatics, programming, making computer games and depression. Is this just a personal opinion or is it more widespread? Does anybody have an explanation for this?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ do you have any evidence of this or is it entirely anecdotal? $\endgroup$
    – honi
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 22:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ hum, this is a constatation that I made by seeing and comparing student in my school and in other school, and people in general $\endgroup$
    – n0tis
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 22:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Because this question is based off your personal experience it is considered off-topic. However, if you were to change it to generally asking if those with more logic-based employment are depressed, it would be a reasonable question. $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 3:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Only it it were shown that "more logic-based employees" actually are depressed. $\endgroup$
    – jona
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ @n0tis: "Our work shows that the price of higher intelligence and more complex behaviours is more mental illness." cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/5333/… $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


Overall, based on my limited research it appears there is no evidence that people who are more logical are more likely to experience depression. There is a theory that people who see the world more accurately (of which rationality would be a component) are more likely to become depressed. It is called depressive realism {1}. However, the theory doesn't seem to be well researched or supported.

Rather that high levels of logical thinking supporting depression it may well be that factors that predict logical thinking also predict depression. One of these is introversion which, based on some research {e.g., 2}, may be correlated with intelligence (which is related to logical thought) and appears to be correlated with depression {3}.

Also, and this is just my opinion, I think that it is possible that the relationship that between maths, physics and programming students and depression might actually be explained by link between introversion and depression as all of these types of careers are probably more commonly associated with introverts.


{1} Ackermann, R. and R. J. DeRubeis (1991). "Is depressive realism real?" Clinical psychology review 11(5): 565-584.

{2} Furnham, A., et al. (1998). "Personality and intelligence." Personality and Individual Differences 24(2): 187-192.

{3} Janowsky, D. S., et al. (2002). "Myers Briggs Type indicator personality profiles in unipolar depressed patients." The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 3(4): 207-215.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.